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Councilwoman Debbie Ortega's Update on the Denver Film Incentive

Update on Film Incentive for Denver
In July the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business will conduct a feasibility study on the impact and benefits of a 5% rebate on film production in Denver.  With a small enticement we will be able to compliment the 20% rebate program and the great work of the State Office of Film, Television and Media to draw this industry back to Colorado.  Below is an example of the upfront spending by these productions that local communities collect.

Just a couple weeks ago American Ninja Warrior was filming in Civic Center Park and here are a few facts from that production that brought 120 crew members that supported local restaurants, bars and other forms of entertainment for ten days that is not factored into the following revenues; 750 room nights in local hotels were booked, 60 locals were employed as PA’s, electricians, drivers, riggers, camera operators, etc., $60,000 was paid to audience participants, $15,000 to the Denver for park permits, meters, and other permits, $40,000 to Security/EMS, and $375,000 above and beyond labor costs for equipment rental (lifts, vehicles, etc), catering, tents, etc.

The Colorado State Legislature supported the state’s efforts with $4 Million in the previous legislative session.  These funds have been earmarked for ten productions that will equate to over $29 Million in local up front spending that will be welcomed revenue to our state’s economy.  For example, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park still has paid ghost tours and hotel stays because of its role in The Shining, the Syfy television show Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.  This is good business that has long lasting benefit to our local communities. 

A film incentive will not only generate business, but will also help local organizations cultivate local talent and increase excitement for and awareness of filmmaking.  The Denver Film Society, for example, is offering 4 different programs for teens, ages 12-18, this summer through their Young Filmmakers Workshops program. Participants have opportunities to learn the art of filmmaking, refine their work with film industry professionals, collaborate with other students, and exhibit their finished product on the big screen in public premieres. To learn more, please visit:

If you don’t qualify as a Young Filmmaker, Denver Film Society is also producing the 14th season of Film on the Rocks ( and a monthly series of free block parties on the rooftop of the Sie FilmCenter on June 20, July 11, and August 15 (